The Bugaboo Interchange Women's jacket is the jacket of all trades, master of none. It is a three-in-one type jacket that will keep you warm and dry on the slopes and can act as three different jackets when you need it to. We took this jacket on an overnight backcountry ski trip and found that the outer layer was just a little too heavy to bring along as a shell when we were already carrying a lot of gear. Our favorite 3-in-1 style jacket is the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women's.
Columbia Bugaboo Interchange - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, warm, inner layer is good for around town
Cons: Snow skirt doesn’t work with inner layer, no access to interior pockets, not very flattering design or color
Our Analysis and Test Results
This is an inexpensive, 3-in-1 style jacket that is an excellent deal for someone on a budget and in need of a ski layer, but it is not the top performing jacket we reviewed.
The Columbia Bugaboo kept us warm on the slopes. The previous version used Omni-Heat technology, which is a series of tiny reflective aluminum dots that are supposed to reflect radiated body heat back towards the body, keeping the heat inside your jacket. The current version has a combination of micro fleece and synthetic insulation as an inner liner jacket.
The Bugaboo uses the same waterproof technology as in the Columbia Whirlibird. During our tests, we found this material to initially bead moisture but then eventually the water soaked into the fabric. This material is not as water resistant as the Arc'teryx Meta or the Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's.
We sometimes found this jacket too warm and were disappointed because the pit-zips only open up the outer layer, and do not vent all the way through the jacket. We did notice that on a hot day when we were sweating, the inner layer was dry and the inside of the shell was damp. This means that inner jacket was allowing moisture to pass through, wicking sweat away from the body, but then the moisture was not escaping through the outer shell.
We found that the Bugaboo has the same issues with its ski features as the Whirlibird. We think the two separate layers work really well individually, but when put together they make the jacket less functional. The powder skirt suffers functionally and in ease of use when the interior layer is attached. Furthermore, the inner pockets of the outer shell are not accessible.
This jacket tends to blend in with the pack, so if hate sticking out, this is the jacket for you. We are disappointed with the current color choices in this jacket, being only available in black or white.
Comfort & Fit
This jacket is quite comfortable, although its fabric is slightly stiffer than the Whirlibird.
Since you can wear this jacket three different ways, it makes the most of your money, although we think that the 3-in-1 Whirlibird is a bit more flattering. We also think that a single layer jacket like the Orage LouLou is a good value and serves essentially the same purpose as the Bugaboo, though it does cost more.
— Jessica Haist